Resolving the crisis in religious studies

What can we do to resolve the crisis that is gripping RE – hitting both its place in the curriculum and teacher training? Professor Stephen Parker and Dr Rob Freathy look at the problems and offer some solutions.

Religious Education in schools has more than a whiff of crisis about it. Recent reports from Ofsted, the Religious Education Council for England and Wales (REC), and the National Association of Teachers of Religious Education, point to the subject being edged out of the curriculum due to government reforms.

The new accountability measure, the English Baccalaureate (EBacc), which lists the key disciplines that ministers feel pupils should study, has done little for RE by not including it. Further, the proliferation of academies and free schools with powers to determine their own curricula has led to schools naturally prioritising other subjects.

The loss of the bursary for trainee RE teachers, and the erosion of decades of capacity-building expertise within universities due to the reduction of teacher training numbers, and the diversion of numbers into school-based teacher training, has had a real impact, as well as further stoking alarm. This all begs the question: why the “attack” on RE and why now?

Register now, read forever

Thank you for visiting SecEd and reading some of our content for professionals in secondary education. Register now for free to get unlimited access to all content.

What's included:

  • Unlimited access to news, best practice articles and podcast

  • New content and e-bulletins delivered straight to your inbox every Monday and Thursday


Already have an account? Sign in here

Related articles